Aretha Franklin: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 2)

We already brought you part one of our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about Aretha Franklin, and now we’re back with part two! Check out eight more fascinating details about the iconic singer’s life that you definitely (probably) did not know below. You might be surprised by what you find out!

Number Eight: She Is a Very Private Person. Franklin very rarely discusses her personal life, especially when it comes to her father’s death. Her father was shot in 1979 by burglars, and he was in a coma until he died in 1984.

Number Seven: She Claims That Reports of Her Mother Abandoning Her Family Are False. Franklin has called the reports that her mother abandoned the family in 1948 an “absolute lie.” She and her siblings spent summers with her mother until she died in 1952.

Number Six: She Was Nominated for 44 Grammys. And she won 18! Ten of those Grammys that she won were for Best R&B Vocal Performance.

Number Five: She Is a High School Dropout. Though it’s true that she attended Juilliard, she actually dropped out of high school. She also has two honorary doctorates of music from Berklee College of Music and from Yale University.

Number Four: She Sung Her First Solo When She Was 12 Years Old. Franklin’s debut performance was at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan. She was just 12 years old at the time. The first song she ever sang was “Jesus, Be a Fence Around Me.”

Number Three: She Has Broken Two Ribs. In 2010, Franklin fell down in her house and broke two of her ribs. Because of this, she had to cancel several of her upcoming performances.

Number Two: She Was a Maternal Figure for Whitney Houston. Houston had a very affectionate relationship with Franklin, and she often called Franklin “Auntie Ree.”

Number One: Her Most Famous Song Is Actually a Cover. Though Franklin is easily most well-known for performing “Respect,” the song is actually a cover of an Otis Redding song. However, Franklin’s performance of “Respect” is much more popular than Otis Redding’s performance. She recorded “Respect” in 1967, and it later became the anthem for the feminist movement.